TOLEDO, Ohio (WJW) — President Donald Trump held his first campaign event of the 2020 election year Thursday evening in Toledo.
Local politicians, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, joined President Trump for his Keep America Great rally in the packed 8,000-seat Huntington Center.
It was the president's first public appearance since he addressed the nation following Iran's missile attack on U.S. air bases. The attack was Iran's retaliation for the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad late last week.
"He was a bad guy. He was a bloodthirsty terror and he's no longer a terror. He's dead," President Trump said in Toledo. "And, yet now I see the radical left Democrats have expressed outrage over the termination of this horrible terrorist."
The rally came just hours after the House approved a nonbinding war powers resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.
During his speech, President Trump defended his actions in dealing with Iran, touted economic achievements in Ohio and attacked his usual enemies, including the media, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several other prominent Democrats, including those running to unseat him.
President Trump also applauded a court ruling favorable to the construction of his border wall and reminded the crowd of a 2016 case involving an illegal immigrant in Lake County.
"Innocent Americans are being brutalized and murdered by illegal alien criminals," he said. "As just one example right here in Ohio, you all know the illegal alien went on a deadly crime spree attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl, then raping and murdering a 60-year-old woman, then shooting another woman who took a short cut through the park and walking with her children and finally the police came."
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late Wednesday that the Trump Administration could pull $3.6 billion from the military budget to fund a border wall. This reversed a ruling from last month that blocked funds for several border wall projects. The decision marked a victory for the President, but the case is still ongoing.
Thursday night's rally also came as Speaker Pelosi is expected to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, which will determine whether or not President Trump is removed from office. The House approved two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — in an almost party-line vote last month. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate trial could begin early next week.
President Trump was the third president in U.S. history to be impeached and reportedly the first to face an impeachment trial while seeking reelection.
Securing Ohio's 18 electoral votes could be critical to his reelection. In fact, Ohio overwhelmingly supported the president by eight points in the 2016 election.
Thursday's visit was Trump’s 15th appearance in Ohio as president.